Commissioner Agendas & Minutes
COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING
Commissioner Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissions to order at 9:01 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.
Adjustments to the agenda: Remove 7A for Sheriff and 8A for Registry of Deeds (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the minutes from the May 3, 2016 Commissioners Regular Meeting and May 20, 2016 Commissioners Special Meeting. (Blasi/Joy 2-0, Brown abstained, motion passed).
Update on Jail lawsuit: County Administrator Adkins went to Augusta June 6th to sit in on the discussion to dismiss the lawsuit. In CA Adkins opinion, the Judge will probably rule in our favor to pursue the lawsuit. Commissioner Joy asked what the time frame is and CA Adkins thought it will be done quickly, maybe in 2 weeks’ time.
MOTION: to approve the Retiree Health Insurance Agreement (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked if moving the retirees to their own insurance plans would save the County any money. We have spent over $40,000 on retirees this year already, so yes, there would be a savings. Commissioner Brown asked what #4 was intended to represent – it will reimburse any retirees who have already paid their plan in full for this year.
MOTION: to establish a schedule for last three exempt employee evaluations (no motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked that CA Adkins be responsible for the scheduling of the evaluations. There are three exempt employee left to do at this time.
Monthly Report discussion: there are more reservations at this time and with the new airline established at the Airport (Elite), the plane boardings are up from our highest year back in 2013. Cash flow is great as the AR has been reduced by $100,000 and this is the time of year to gain on Revenues. The new fire truck is nearly operational as they are still waiting for the foam to be delivered and to test the lights & strobes. It was a great asset to purchase the vehicle and Manager Madeira is glad it is available and on site. Elite Airways had been approved by the TSA to operate from May 27, 2016 through September 30, 2016. The TSA funding for the LEO program has been decreased. The Airport is required to have law enforcement people at the check-in area. The coverage reimbursement has been reduced from 11hrs to 7hrs a day, which means only during the “actual flight in” times. No security company would be willing to have their staff come and go during the day instead of the regular work hours from 5:30am to 4:00pm. Manager Madeira is hoping that a compromise can be agreed upon soon as the grant money cycle has closed out and we might have to move into working with the Sheriff’s Department.
MOTION: to approve AIP Oversight Policy (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: we already have procedures in place for certain County policies but the FAA wants to see certain items written in an Oversight Policy. CA Adkins stated that this new policy does not include anything that the County already doesn’t do at this time.
MOTION: to approve the Chairman to sign the FAA Grant Offer regarding AIP #41 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve and sign the contract with KOBO Utility Construction Corporation regarding; AIP#41 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Blasi asked if the contract refers to the specs and will it be available for public inspection. Manager Madeira stated that paperwork is available in his office.
MOTION: to approve the Lease & Operating Right Agreement with Hyannis Air Service, Inc. d/b/a/ Cape Air effective 7/1/16 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Blasi asked if this lease is a newer edition with landing fees and Manager Madeira stated, yes it is.
MOTION: to approve the Operating Rights Agreement (ORA) with Peninsula Airways, Inc. d/b/a/ PenAir effective 7/1/16 (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the assignment & amendment of land lease with Frederick Cahn (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: this is a revision of the land lease for a different party.
MOTION: to have the Chairman to sign the assignment & amendment of land lease with Frederick Cahn (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: Chairman to approve and sign the Statement of Joint Objectives (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: this agreement is to establish the reimbursement rate for security personnel thru the LEO program.
MOTION: to approve the May General Fund and Airport payroll Warrants #16-17, #16-18, #16-19 and #16-20 in the aggregate amount of $198,765.69. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the May General Fund and Airport expense Warrants #16-15, #16-16, #16-17 and #16-18 in the aggregate amount of $365,300.88. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the Strohman payment check for new replacement gunsights was held out from the previous Warrant as the Sheriff Dept. had not received the reimbursement funds. That check has come in with yesterday’s mail. Commissioner Brown asked why the payment check was not paid before the money came from the manufacturer and both Commissioner Joy & Commissioner Blasi wanted to be assured that we received our reimbursement from the company.
MOTION: to approve the May Jail and UT payroll Warrants #16-17, #16-18, #16-19 and #16-20 in the aggregate of $86,852.96. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the May Jail and UT expense Warrants #16-8, #16-37, #16-9 and #16-38 in the aggregate of $100,812.52. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Brown asked Treasurer Eldridge if the Capital Account spreadsheet had been updated and corrected and was it accurate. CA Adkins will be looking at this report along with Treasurer Eldridge along with other reports that have been generated on Excel. He will strive before the next meeting to get the reports more accurate. The audit will be finalized by July 1st but there are issues CA Adkins has come across in the past few days that need to be addressed. Commissioner Joy stated the reports need to be correct and the Commissioners do not want reports if they are not.
MOTION: to approve the May expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $129,071.90. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: CA Adkins stated there is a balance of almost $85,000 in the health checking account. He wanted to know if the extra money was there for a reason. He also asked why there is such a large balance in the Reserve account. Commission Joy stated that in the past, the County has had to pay for liabilities that are not funded and per our Auditor, this money should be set aside.
MOTION: to approve a 2nd Commissioner with authority to sign the Warrants when Chairman is not available or in an emergency situation (no motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Joy is sometimes unavailable until late Friday afternoon before the warrants can be approved and signed. The checks need to be signed, sorted, stuffed and mailed. In his absence, the other Commissioners can be called by Treasurer Eldridge to come into the office on Thursday or Friday morning.
MOTION: to approve a Petty Cash Fund for the Airport in the amount of $50 (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Brown asked how often these petty cash accounts are reconciled. Treasurer Eldridge stated they are done quarterly but the Jail & Sheriff use petty cash almost every month for tolls & meals. The Treas Office has cash on hand to replenish their accounts and then the expenses are put the next Warrant to reimburse the Treas Office.
Comm Blasi asked the Treasurer the following questions: Have all the County checking account statements been reconciled through March and April? Only the “small” accounts, the General Fund, Jail and UT have not. Commissioner Blasi asked that when the AR reconciliation is completed as of June 30th, going forward, the ledger should remain in balance? CA Adkins said yes, when he has completed all of his investigations for the audit, it will remain in balance. Commissioner Blasi also asked if there will be a reconciliation checklist from the Auditor. Yes, when the DRAFT Audit is completed by July 1st.
Monthly Report discussion: Ninety-five percent of the air conditioning units are up & running. The grounds have been cleaned up from the winter by a trustee and are now well maintained. The roof project will begin on June 20th. Hopefully, the contractor will be doing the demolition and reroofing in the next few weeks. The gable end of the Jail building needs to be redone for proper ventilation. The project is due to be completed in about 2 months. The security issues at the DAs office will be addressed later this month.
MOTION: to approve the resignation of Daniel Trenholm effective May 25, 2016 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Dennis Walls asked that he be removed administratively from the County records.
MOTION: to approve the promotion of Lorenzo Severence of Otis from part time janitor to full time custodian effective May 28, 2016 step 4C $11.85 per hour (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
Monthly Report discussion: Hancock Wind has currently put up three towers up and all the other blades and towers are on the ground at the project sight. Commissioner Blasi asked about the lighting on the towers and UT Supervisor Billings said that permits need to be established by the FCC and/or the DEP, but this project is already started, so he is not sure if they will allow an amendment to our permit. The towers are 535ft high and the blades are much longer than what is currently on Bull Hill. Commissioner Blasi asked the other Commissioners if UT Supervisor Billings could have permission to explore how the lights could be permitted. Commissioner Joy stated it was OK to ask but do we have any input on this situation? The lights has been approved in VT but UT Supervisor Billings is not sure if they are allowed in ME.
Sun Edison (Hancock Wind) has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy which is better for accounts that receive payment for services. Hancock Wind can reorganize and be sold to another company. Commissioner Blasi asked about the status of Blue Skies East, LLC and UT Supervisor stated that the company had been bought out by Terra Form Power, Inc. Commissioner. Joy asked UT Supervisor Billings to find out from Eric Stumpfel if in fact our future funds in jeopardy of not being paid to the County of Hancock.
MOTION: to approve the renewal of Solid Waste agreements with Deer Isle for Eagle Island, Burlington/Lowell for T3 & T4, Sullivan for T7, Steuben for T7, Franklin for T9 & T 10, Cherryfield for T10 (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the renewal of Structure Fire Agreement with Aurora Volunteer Fire Department for T16, Y22, T28, T32, T34, T35, T39, T40 and southern half of T41 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to reappoint Millard Billings to the LUPC effective July 9, 2016 for a three year term (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: UT Supervisor Billings has been going to the LUPC meetings since March and the big issue ongoing is which UTs want to be dismissed from the expedited wind power areas.
MOTION: to approve selling the Department boat by bid (Brown/Joy3-0, motion passed). Discussion: the boat is not used by the Dept., it is stored on the parking lot area and it is taking up needed space. It should be sold and replaced with a side by side. It will be offered out to bid. The boat, trailer, life jackets will all go as one package deal to the highest bidder.
MOTION: to approve the purchase of Department handguns (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: The Sheriff Office needs $3,861 for new guns and holsters (not to exceed $4500). Some of the money will come from the 2015 budget (that did not carry forward) from expense Account E10-70-305 and another $2500 was budgeted in this year, so there are enough funds. Last year’s gun purchases came from the equipment expenses account for $2,100. Only one half of the needed guns and holsters were replaced last year.
MOTION: to approve the hiring of Wanda-Mae Cleves of Old Town, Travis Allen of Orland and David Rae of Ellsworth as part time, on call as needed Correction Officers at the rate of $12 per hour with no benefits, not to exceed 29 hours per week (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the hiring of Franklin Jennings of Dixmont, ME effective 6/25/16 as the new deputy patrolman at step 12C for $18.44 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: the Sheriff would like to move left over funds of $6179 from 2015 Swans Island contract to G1-3011-62 and left over funds of $26,410 from 2015 Stonington/Tremont/Castine contracts to G1-3011-70 to purchase new vehicles. CA Adkins will meet with Michelle Cote and the Sheriff to discuss the funds and where money will be credited.
REGISTRY of PROBATE:
MOTION: to approve the updated job description for the part time clerk (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: the current part time employee will be doing basically the same duties as a full time clerk. She was originally hired through a grant and she is willing to do other duties to process paperwork in the office. The surcharge account could continue to pay her for 8 hours of preservation work and the remaining hours (scanning & accounting) would come from the regular assistant line. Register Coughlin could use the extra help in Probate and the current part time employee is already doing the tasks. The updated full time job description includes item B6 which involves “Estate Accounting” along the full time benefits.
MOTION: to approve the updated job description for the full time clerk (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Break for lunch 12:00pm - Back in session at 12:28pm
MOTION: to approve the request to go out to bid for contracted services – 2016 Hancock County Mitigation Plan update (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: This is a standard procedure done every 5 years. These services are performed by professionals who do Municipal mitigation planning on a regular basis. All thirty seven towns in Hancock County, the UT and the Commissioners have to approve the document before it is presented to MEMA in Augusta. The deadline for this is June 2018. It is a federally funded grant that is reimbursed to us at 75%.
Discussion: Hancock County has received from MePERS, letters regarding the amount of the reimbursement due for past contributions not previously paid for on four elected County employees. Commissioner Blasi handed out letters that have come to the County with the amount due for each employee. These letters state what the County amount are due for MePERS– not the employee amount due. It appears to be about $13,000 is what the County would be billed for if each employee wanted to pay their contribution. The big question was - where would the money come from. CA Adkins will verify that Account E30-05-200 will be used, if there are funds in that budget line item. CA Adkins also stated that these employees will be asked if they are willing to contribute their amount due and then the County will contribute their amount due.
MOTION: to approve the Chairman to sign the Authorization for Release of PHI (Meritain) (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: CA Adkins is now a PHI. Commissioner Blasi asked who are the current PHIs: they are: Pamela Linscott and Cynthia DePrenger.
Discussion: IMCARC has sent to CA Adkins paperwork in regards to a new investment account that could replace VOYA accounts for unionized employees. Commissioner Joy wants something in writing as to what this new account would do for non-union employees. CA Adkins is going to find out more regarding what this plan’s intentions are for our employees.
MOTION: to go into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a), to conduct a pre-termination hearing (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) at 1PM.
Back at 2:05PM with the following:
MOTION: to terminate Sgt. Richardson on the grounds of sexual harassment (Brown/ Blasi 2-1, Joy opposed, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy stated the motion to terminate Sgt. Richardson will be made public. In a private business, an employee can resign to save his dignity and he offered to allow Sgt. Richardson that opportunity today. Mr. Piccone addressed the Commissioners and asked if Sgt. Richardson resigned would the motion would be rescinded. Commissioner Brown said he would not allow the motion to be reversed – Commissioner Blasi agreed.
Break at 2:20pm - back in session at 2:30pm
Discussion of new hires: CA Adkins wants to advertise for a new employee in the Administrative office. He feels the financial side of the office is OK at this time as we currently have enough people to do the work, but we need a Human Resource/Executive Assistant. Commissioner Blasi also wants to have the new hire to be someone with a Human Resources background. At this time, CA Adkins thinks we only need one new hire, and then, later on maybe a part-time clerk. Commissioner Brown would like to see a job description for the new position. Mrs. DePrenger stated that the new hire should definitely be strong in office and accounting skills but the Human Resources aspect is very important. Commissioner Blasi stated that after today’s Executive Session, we know that we need someone with that kind of expertise. Commissioner Joy stated he thinks we need two new employees, but CA Adkins disagreed. Commissioner Brown wants to make sure that we don’t have to hire more than one person to complete the cycle.
MOTION: to adjourn at 2:43PM (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
Pamela J. Linscott